Urgent advice on Residence Orders please.

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Dee62
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 pm

Urgent advice on Residence Orders please.

Post by Dee62 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:00 pm

This is the first time I've posted on here so I hope I don't bore you with too long a post but I desperately need advice.
My daughter has two babies aged 20 months and 8 months. Ever since the first one was born, her now ex partner has made her life a misery. After the first one was born, after an emergency C section because of an eclamptic seizure, they lived here for six weeks. The night he was born, the father was sleeping with another girl. Incidences since include: trying to stop us from seeing the children; abusive towards her, mentally and physically; threatening to burn our house down because he thought that she and the children were staying with us; getting his mother to lie to the police so that it was my daughter that got a caution, not him; playing on his Xbox 24/7 and pushing the toddler out of the way and telling him to f off; putting on Facebook that the toddler was fat and ginger and would be bullied at school; denying that the baby was his; and many, many more things.
They eventually split up at the end of June 2012. At the beginning of July 2012 my daughter slipped on the stairs with the baby (then seven weeks old) and bumped baby's head on the wall. They went to hospital for observation and luckily all was ok. The night they went in, my daughter tried and tried to contact him to let him know. Eventually he was tracked down but said he had no interest and wasn't going to see them. Turned out he was in a lap dancing club. My daughter and the children then came to stay with us (for the fourth time, I think) and stayed until September 2012. He has since been offered contact at a contact centre but refused it.
In October 2012, my daughter took him to court to remove his name from the joint tenancy and also he had to make an Undertaking to the court not to contact her, etc.
Moving on a bit, on 4th January 2013, my daughter took an overdose and was rushed to hospital. My husband and I stayed at her house with the children and the next morning brought them home with us (we only live 5 minute drive away). And they've been here ever since.
Obviously Social Services are involved and up until last Friday, my daughter kind of shut down and didn't want to speak to them or anyone. She has now decided that she will take the anti depressants prescribed to her and she will see someone from the mental health team. It is my firm belief that she was/is suffering from post natal depression, yet no one has even acknowledged it.
Now, SS say they will be taking legal action and advised my husband and I to seek legal advice as regards a Residence Order, which we did on Thursday. We plan to represent ourselves and are told that it will cost us £200 to lodge the form with the court. Can anyone confirm that the correct form is a C100?
The absent father lives in a flat with his girlfriend who has never even met the childeren. He has just given up his job. He has told the Social worker and put on Facebook that 'I'm going to get the kids because I want to give up my job, get a free house and loads of benefits, it'll be great.' And two days ago we were told that he had applied for a Residence Order.
If he has, do we still go ahead with our application? What are his chances of getting them? He's not seen either of them for seven months now. We are at our wits end. I fear for my daughter if this happens, I think it will push her over the edge. That aside, if he was a nice person, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but he isn't. It's just one lie after another.
Please, if there is anyone out there who has been in a similar situation, I need advice.
Many, many thanks for reading this long post.

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Urgent advice on Residence Orders please.

Post by David Roth » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:00 pm

Hi Dee62, and welcome to Family Rights Group's discussion forum for family and friends carers.

It sounds as though you and your daughter are in a very difficult position with the absent father of your grandchildren, who sounds quite volatile.

You are considering applying for Residence Orders for the children, but you want some information about the procedures, and also want to know whether the father's application for RO will stand in the way of your application.

Firstly, I can confirm that the form that you fill in is the C100. Also, that while the court fees can vary according to which court you are applying to, the fees are likely to be £200.

You say that social workers are involved, and are suggesting that you apply for the ROs. In these circumstances, many local authorities will pay or contribute towards the court fees and expenses. You could ask your local authority whether they would be able to assist with the cost of the application and pay for you to be legally represented.

Our advice sheet 18 explains about ROs in some detail. It includes a guide on how to make the application if you are representing yourself in court. It is quite a long advice sheet, but it is packed with useful information - you can find it (and our other advice sheets) here: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

With regard to the father's RO application, it is quite likely that the court would want to hear the two applications at the same time. The court is interested in making the decision that will be best for the children's welfare. You have stated that the father can be dishonest, so it is quite likely that he will not be straight with the court when he is making his case - he might well be untruthful, not only about himself, but also about you and your daughter as well. You might well hear some things said about you that are not very pleasant.

However, it will be difficult for him to get any evidence to support what he is saying. You have said that social workers support you having the children. They have been involved with them for some time, so they will know why they are saying that. If you have printed off the Facebook pages you described, that also is not going to look good for him. The court will appoint a Cafcass officer, whose job is make a recommendation to the court about what will be best for the children. Once they start to find out the facts you have described, he is going to find it hard to convince anyone that going to him is the best option for these two children.

I understand your concern about your daughter's wellbeing. Is there any possibility you could arrange some counselling for her, to help her get through what will be a very difficult time? Perhaps her GP could make a referral?

Good luck to all of you!
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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Help 1870
Posts: 914
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:54 am

Re: Urgent advice on Residence Orders please.

Post by Help 1870 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:51 pm

Hi, and welcome to the boards, :)
Dee62 wrote:The absent father lives in a flat with his girlfriend who has never even met the childeren. He has just given up his job. He has told the Social worker and put on Facebook that 'I'm going to get the kids because I want to give up my job, get a free house and loads of benefits, it'll be great.'


It not unusual for parents to spout off all sorts of rubbish in order to make themselves look good to other people. These comments are best ignored.
And two days ago we were told that he had applied for a Residence Order.
Who told you this? Unless and until a letter from court or a solicitor lands on your (or your daughters) doormat then this too is best ignored. Saying and doing are completely different things and even if he does make an application theres no guarantee he will get them. He will have convince SS and the court that he is a responsible person capable of taking care of the children appropriately. See first quote for an idea of how thats going to go. :roll:
Now, SS say they will be taking legal action and advised my husband and I to seek legal advice as regards a Residence Order, which we did on Thursday.
Its not uncommon for SS to threaten legal action and advise carers to seek their own legal advice re RO/SGO. Id be intererested as to the local autorities position now given you have done what they said. My guess would be the threat has receeded as the child could soon no longer be their concern.

It might though be worth checking if you would qualify for legal aid should SS initiate care proceedings as the children are currently in your care. It seems very early days, little over a month, for it to be assumed that mum cannot get through this rough patch shes having so will not be able to resume the care of her children at some point. As scary as it sounds, Care proceedings might be a good idea to give her the chance to get better and prove herself while having a backup plan of the children remaining with you long term should that not be possible.

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